A lot of people who set New Years Resolutions seem to do so with a grain of salt. They come out strong for the first couple of days, or even weeks. Then, they fall short and eventually give up. In reality, the hardest thing to do is set a tempo to meet your goals. Once you get a good rhythm going, however, everything falls into place.
One of the keys to achieving any goal is creating a rhythm of activities to reach the end. Once you get a good flow going, many of the activities become more habitual than anything. And that’s the part you need to focus on…creating a habit.
How to Meet Your Goals through Habitual Activities
For many of you, it’s going to take a lot of effort to get a good rhythm down in accordance with your goals. You may have to toss aside some of the things you love to do because they are counter-productive.
That’s the price you pay for meeting your dreams, though. Admit to yourself that things like binge watching Netflix and YouTube are not conducive to activities like losing weight. That is, unless you know how to combine the two – which isn’t all that difficult, really.
Once you get into your rhythm, the process becomes easier to handle. Before long, you’ll simply do things because it feels more natural to meet your goals.
For example, I’ve spent the last two months getting into the habit of blogging every morning for both of my primary websites. So far, it has paid off quite a bit as I create a good flow of content for both readers and search engines. Traffic has increased as well as the Adsense income.
So, what can you do to set the tempo and start 2018 on the right foot?
Step 1: Understand Patience
A lack of patience is one of the failings of many people, especially in today’s fast-paced world. Everything needs to happen right now or a lot of folks give up on the process.
Rebuilding yourself, whether you’re losing weight or battling depression, takes time. There is no “loot box” or power-up you can get to instantly fix your problems. And you need to understand how patience will affect the outcome.
For instance, short of surgeries or causing damage to yourself, you’re not going to lose 50 pounds in a month. While it’s not impossible, it’s incredibly difficult for most people.
Every step you take today reinforces the effect of your end-game.
Step 2: Be Realistic and Plan Your Goals
When determining your goals, be realistic. This will play a pivotal role in whether you’re successful or not. For one thing, setting your sights too high may set yourself up for failure. It’s OK to reach for the stars as long as you’re aware of your surroundings.
Planning a goal that is achievable requires more than just saying, “I want…” For instance, you can say you want to look like Captain America or that you want a million dollars. But, do you have a plan of the steps it takes to get to those goals?
Admit your own faults and plan ahead. I know I have a problem when it comes to snacking at my desk. If there is something within reach while I work, I’ll munch on it. By keeping snacks in the kitchen and out of reach, I am not tempted to consume more calories than I need.
Own up to the problems you have and address them accordingly. No one wants to admit to having faults, but it needs to be done if you want to truly succeed.
Step 3: Break Up Your Goal into Daily Activities
Another important part to meet your goals is not overwhelming yourself. You can create an objective of losing 100 pounds, but what does that mean for daily activities?
Breaking up a larger goal into smaller portions helps you by keeping your mind on the here-and-now instead of the overall result. For instance, a goal to lose 100 pounds can be broken up into losing a certain amount each week. Most people can lose at least two pounds every seven days just simply changing how much they eat. Start there.
Let’s take myself, for example. Today, I have a goal of eating a net total of 600 calories. This is after offsetting for physical activities such as walking. I monitor this through tools like MyFitnessPal. If I maintain this net 600 calorie diet today, it greatly improves my chances of reaching my end-goal of 180 pounds.
Step 4: Create and Force Yourself to Follow a Schedule
For me, schedules are incredibly difficult to maintain. Not because I am stupid busy, but because I have a lot of bad habits that I am currently correcting. But like I mentioned before, forcing myself to maintain a morning blog routine has created a habit. Now I feel lost when I don’t write in the morning, even on the weekends.
It’s very easy to create a schedule to meet your goals, but it’s another thing to actually follow it. The upside is that it becomes easier to follow a schedule over time. This is because you’re creating a habit that focuses on a positive outcome.
Just remember to keep up the schedule. Sometimes you might slip up and get yourself into a rut again. Then, you have to spend time correcting that new behavior.
- Use a day planner.
- Write out your schedule in Excel.
- Set reminders on your phone.
Do what you have to keep yourself focused on a successful schedule.
Step 5: Wake Up in the Morning the Right Way
For many of us, how we wake up in the morning easily sets the tempo for the rest of the day. If you feel like you’re dragging, it’s a lot more difficult to focus on your new schedule.
In essence, you need to feel like you’re ready to tackle your day. Even if you have to grab it by the throat and pummel it into submission. Well, that’s probably a bit more aggressive than what many of you had in mind. But I think you get the idea.
What can affect how you wake up in the morning?
- Lack of sleep.
This can leave you feeling groggy while making it more difficult to focus. Go to bed earlier if you have to.
- Poor quality of sleep.
Sleep quality is affected by a lot of different things. Eating poorly before bed, sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress and even being overweight will have an impact in how well you sleep.
- Dwelling on the negative.
Don’t wake up first thing in the morning and focus on negative elements. Force yourself into a positive mindset. For me, the alarm on my phone is the theme from “Ant Man,” which gets me into a positive, superhero mood.
Whether your goals are to lose weight or advance in your career, one of the best ways to start the day is by getting the blood flowing to the brain. Physical activity is scientifically proven to improve the mind’s processing power.
Start with asking, “What will I do today to improve my life.”
Step 6: Turn Activities into Games
I’m a firm believer in gamifying everything. This is when a certain task is turned into a game to engage the individual. Many businesses do this to inspire higher performance from employees. I do it to keep my mind engaged for health and fitness.
When you turn an activity into a game, you’re more likely to look at it in a more positive light. For example, I set goals to burn a certain number of calories while sweeping and mopping my floors. This is tracked through my Fitbit. Then, I try to break that record next time.
This is because I love breaking personal bests.
The trick is to turn those activities you need to meet your goals into something fun for yourself. The more you enjoy the activity, the more likely you’ll keep doing it. This is true regardless of the situation.
What keeps your mind engaged?
I can admit I love playing with spreadsheets and finding ways to improve nearly anything in my life. Whether it’s losing weight or finding out how much I have to write to make a certain amount of money this year, it’s what’s fun for me.
Find what’s fun for you and connect it to your goal activities.
Step 7: Don’t Dwell On Yesterday
You will have days when things don’t go your way. Get past them and move on. Learn from the problems yesterday created and try not to make the same mistakes tomorrow. If you can do that, then there really is no such thing as a “failure.” It becomes a learning experience.
Dwelling too much on past problems can result in a myriad of issues to meet your goals. You can start to believe the goal is unobtainable, or that you don’t have what it takes to succeed. And this is the way wrong attitude to have.
For 2018, I’m not going to dwell on the faults of 2017. Instead, I am going to learn from the issues I had and take steps to make sure they don’t happen again. I will reflect those issues in my schedules and activities to create a habit of improvement.
Confess to yourself you made a mistake and put thought into preventing it from happening again. Ate too much candy today? Make sure you eat less tomorrow. Didn’t get enough steps in? Plan out a good walk for the next day.
Step 8: Go Beyond Your Average Routine
Don’t be afraid to change-up your goals throughout the year. There will come a time when your regular routine seems too easy. In that case, revamp your activities to go beyond your abilities.
Improving yourself is all about going beyond your norm. Otherwise, it would be called, “normalizing yourself.” It doesn’t exactly have the same impact, does it?
The more often you go above and beyond your own “call of duty,” the more likely you’ll meet your goals. Walk an average of 8,000 steps today? Strive for 9,000. Even something as simple as spending an extra five minutes working out every day will benefit a weight-loss goal.
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
Just because the calendar changes overnight, it doesn’t mean you will. It takes time and patience to achieve goals whether they’re for physical or mental health. Concede to patience and don’t let instant gratification control your quest. It takes time to rebuild yourself in any regard.